Archive for August, 2010

Friday Afternoon Stress Relief

// August 20th, 2010 // No Comments » // Advice, Other

Spending too much time at the computer?  Need to get outside?  Take a break right here and imagine you just rode this bike 2,000 vertical feet and had to set it down to go retrieve your lungs off the road before a coyote gets to them.  Take a second, say a prayer, focus on your to do list and when this is over go do it and put as #1: Have a great Weekend!

Would the Real Philip Yancey Please Step Forward?

// August 18th, 2010 // No Comments » // Climbing, Hiking

Recently I formed a strong, and no doubt lasting, relationship with well-known author Philip Yancey.  That’s right, I “liked” him on Facebook.  What could possibly break this bond of friendship forged over the red-hot coals of interwebcyerificness?

An imposter?!

No, I “liked” the right one out of the all the choices I had on Facebook.  I could deduce that he was not the black woman, nor the teen boy, not the proud dad nor even the “boy band”, no the real Philip Yancey had to be the one with the most fans – over 2,000 (a little weak for a guy who has sold over 14 million books, but this has to be him, I recognize the photo of Shakespeare’s look-alike).  Still as I read on there was the quote “I’m Philip _#*bleeping%# Yancey!”  Something was not quite right.  Philip writes books on God, Understanding, Forgiveness, Grace, Jesus and topics like this, how could he have a comment like that right there, out in the open for all to see?  Well there was his picture, but two or three of the profiles shared the same, and even authentic picture of the real man.  So which was real and which the imposter?

Just the other day had the chance to climb a peak with my wife, Philip, and his wife.  As we neared the 13,000 foot high saddle of the mountain my wife, due to her keen sense of electrical storms, decided to turn back.  Philip graciously offered to go with her back to the car knowing that his wife’s wish for a summit on one of her last remaining 14ers,  and hope of getting to the top, rested with me.  We gave it our all, yet we too were forced to turn around.  I was thankful that my wife was in good hands, and that Philip would give up his bid on a summit with the one who wanted it most, to care for the one who wanted the summit least and needed care the most.

This was the real Philip Yancey.  His actions matched his words.  His character emulated the one he claims to serve.
That is the mark of the genuine article.  When lined up and compared, the counterfeit won’t measure up.  I later found the real Philip Yancey on Facebook with all of his 200 fans (201 now) and on that site I saw the evidence that matched the man.  The books, the deep thoughts, the insight and help he offered showed me this is the authentic Philip Yancey.  I am now challenged to look for imposters of my own,  finding sometimes it is possible to be my own worst enemy.  If you happened to see Philip running around Aspen with a  cute young Blonde, again it is not what you think; that was my wife and he bought her a real blueberry muffin.  Beware of those who impose and of judgments quickly made in haste, dig deeper and discover the truth behind the face(book).

Anger Management

// August 12th, 2010 // No Comments » // Hiking, Other

Is anger really something that we should let control us? I was out on the rocks doing some climbing on what was a stunning Colorado morning. I was making a personal video with my Canon 7D (an expensive semi-pro SLR) to use for an upcoming web-conference. I had shot some clips and had some fun climbing around, setting up, and even tried to get a shot rappelling. To get this shot I had to set the camera up on a tripod close to the edge of an 80 foot cliff. It all seemed great; I grabbed a few wild raspberries, ate them, clipped in to the rope, hit record, and then laughed my way down the face thinking for sure I had captured something cool for my little production. I felt free almost as if I had just been able to fly.

My camera was surely jealous, it too wanted to taste this freedom, at least that is my only explanation. Because just as I unclipped from the rope I could see a dark shadow falling. Then I heard a few loud cracks, and once I realized what had happened, released a few loud cracks of my own. A gust of wind had knocked over my precariously placed picture taker and sent it pummeling down to the platform of granite below. I got the clip I needed, but somehow this failed to make me smile. I was angry. In fact I was so angry that no outburst ensued. I was beyond emoting. Perhaps there in lies a lesson on managing anger – usually there is nothing you can do about it anyway, so why waste a beautiful day. When it gets bad like this, you just have to say – “it is only stuff anyway.” WWJD? He probably would have had a cheaper camera, and set it up properly to begin with, but I know he would not have had a little bratty fit. Proverbs 29:11 – A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.

Something Old, Something New

// August 8th, 2010 // No Comments » // Hiking, Leadership, Other

Standing on top of 14,015 foot Wetterhorn peak recently with twenty new friends, offered me a new perspective on climbing these old mountains, the act of which sometimes makes me feel as old as they are.  I had been here before on top of this remarkably beautiful and rugged mountain, but every time out offers something different.  I was climbing with a group of “tweeners”, teenagers between high school and college and our objective was to challenge ourselves in the mountains and then apply the lessons learned in the day to a talk that night.  The talk would focus on college life and how best to prepare for the mountains of challenges that lie ahead.  The group had travelled from Indiana for the experience of climbing a couple of Colorado’s famed fourteen thousand foot peaks, and their enthusiasm was immediately made apparent to me.  There were a lot of questions, a lot of nervousness, with enough excitement and energy to light a small city.

For me the thought of waking up early, setting a slow pace on familiar ground, with a large group did nothing to make me nervous, excited, or even feel challenged.  The challenge for me now was to not let my crusty attitude diminish the joy of their new discovery.  The rains came and doused our camp threatening to dampen our gear and our spirits as well.  I have spent a lifetime pursuing outdoor adventure and have seldom felt this way, but it seemed to be getting a little old.  Maybe it was me. Maybe I am getting old!?  Was it the rain?  Was it the longing to be with my family?  Am I too out of touch to hang with teenagers anymore?  Am I impatient, irritable, selfish…or just old?